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Minimally Viable Product

In the world of entrepreneurship and personal growth, the concept of a “Minimally Viable Product” (MVP) is starting to gain traction. It’s a term that may sound technical, but its essence is something that most of us can relate to, whether we’re striving to launch a business, improve our relationships, or pursue our dreams. In this post, we’ll dig into the significance of embracing the MVP mindset and how it can impact your life.

The Lightbulb Moment

I first stumbled upon the term “Minimally Viable Product” about five months ago during a panel event where I served as a judge awarding funds to young entrepreneurs and college students with innovative ideas. What struck me was their willingness to dive headfirst into their projects, even if they weren’t perfect. They understood something crucial at 20 that took me until 30 to fully grasp: It’s better to start with an imperfect idea and refine it along the way than to endlessly chase perfection.

My own journey mirrors this realization. I’ve written a book (which I’m holding in my hand right now), and even after 18 months of editing, it’s still not perfect. In fact, the second edition is already in progress with more edits and corrections. In the past, I allowed this pursuit of perfection to hinder my progress, but not anymore.

The Beginnings of Change

My journey began back in 2009 when I started doing junk removal, a side gig I took up after getting laid off. At that time, I had a van, a trailer, a strong work ethic, and the skills to do junk removal, but I didn’t act on it. Instead, I convinced myself that I needed an education, a partner, and more knowledge before starting a business. It was a cycle of paralysis by analysis.

This is a pattern many of us fall into. We overanalyze, over prepare, and overthink, and it keeps us from moving forward in both our professional and personal lives. But here’s the thing: you don’t need 743 steps to get from where you are to where you want to be. You need the next step.

Taking Action, No Matter How Small

So, what can you do to break free from this cycle of analysis paralysis? It starts with taking action, no matter how small. Back in 2014 and 2015, while I was stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I began assembling a vision board. Initially, it felt like a mere obligation, something I had to do for a class. But over time, I realized its importance in breaking down my goals into manageable, actionable steps.

I wanted to start a business, and I realized there were small, digestible chunks of actions I could take daily. Sending an email, conducting research, making phone calls—these seemingly minor steps add up over time. Even if you do them poorly, it’s better than not doing them at all.

The Power of Imperfection

My book went through multiple rounds of editing, and I still found grammatical errors. Waiting for a perfect book would have meant never getting it done. The same principle applies to life. Want to ask someone out? Do it. Want to attend a concert but have no one to go with? Buy a ticket and go solo. You’d be surprised how often taking that imperfect step leads to great outcomes.

My mantra in life is DTFT: Do The Fucking Thing. You know what “the thing” is, so don’t let perfectionism hold you back.

Breaking It Down

Here’s a simple plan to help you embrace the MVP mindset and start making progress:

Do Something Different: Identify one thing you can do today that you didn’t do yesterday. It doesn’t have to be massive; it just has to be different.

Share Your Journey: Let others know about your goals and the steps you’re taking. This not only keeps you accountable but also opens up opportunities for collaboration and support.

Teach Others: As you make progress, share what you’ve learned with others. Teaching reinforces your own understanding and keeps the momentum going.

The Three Kinds of People

In this journey, you’ll encounter three kinds of people: Sometimes, Always, and Never. Sometimes people may celebrate with you occasionally, but they won’t be consistent. Never people won’t support you no matter what, while Always people will be your unwavering advocates.

In Conclusion

Remember, you don’t need perfection to succeed; you need progress. Whether it’s in your professional life or personal relationships, embracing the concept of a Minimally Viable Product can be transformative. So, what’s your 10-minute action for today? DTFT, share it, celebrate it, and keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

Get In Touch

Andy’s door is open. Contact for questions, business inquiries, or veteran support.

Andy Weins

Andy Weins is a fourth-generation entrepreneur, Veteran of the U.S. Army, and speaker. Through consulting, teaching, podcasting, and writing, he is an enthusiastic supporter of Veterans, entrepreneurs, community engagement, individual empowerment, and the environment.

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